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Nissan Titan vs. Ford F-150: Comparing Two Leading Pickup Trucks

POR: Andrew Giorgi
Off-road pickup trucks on top of a mountain

There’s one undisputed champion in the world of pickups: the Ford F-150. It’s not only been America’s best-selling truck for over four decades, but this do-it-all vehicle also claims the title of the country’s most popular automobile of any kind.

This first-runner status means that challengers are constantly trying to dethrone the F-150; among them is Nissan. Its full-sized Titan pickup debuted for the 2004 model year with high hopes of taking away some of Ford’s business. Yet, the success of the Nissan Titan over the past two decades has been mixed, with sales plunging in recent years. According to recent sales figures, Americans bought over 152,000 Ford F-Series trucks in the first quarter of 2024, compared to 4,100 Nissan Titans. The sharp contrast in sales underscores Nissan’s decision to discontinue the Titan after 2024.

Nonetheless, the Titan and F-150 remain viable competitors, especially for used truck shoppers. Both vehicles offer capable performance, rugged durability, and other features that appeal to a wide array of buyers. Keep reading as we explore how the Titan and F-150 stack up across crucial areas like engine power, towing and hauling capability, fuel efficiency, interior features, and overall value.

This overview covers:

Nissan Titan

  • 1st generation: 2004-2015
  • 2nd generation: 2016-2024

Ford F-150

  • 11th generation: 2004-2008
  • 12th generation: 2009-2014
  • 13th generation: 2015-2020
  • 14th generation: 2021-present

The F-150 has undergone significant changes since its 1975 debut. However, we’ll focus on advancements from the last twenty years, which sync with the Nissan Titan’s history. In addition, both manufacturers make heavy-duty versions of these trucks — the Nissan Titan XD and Ford F-Series Super Duty — neither of which are part of this comparison.

Engine Performance and Power: F-150 vs. Titan

Truck buyers are usually focused on what’s under the hood because pickups are often used to transport heavy payloads or pull trailers.

First-generation Titans came with Nissan’s 5.6L “Endurance” V8 engine, which produced 305 hp and 379 lb-ft of torque (later increasing to 317 hp and 385 lb-ft). The automaker updated the engine for the second generation, with output initially making 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. Current Titans make 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. A Cummins turbodiesel V8 was also briefly offered from 2016 to 2019 in the Titan.

Unlike Nissan’s one-size-fits-all approach with the Titan’s singular V8, Ford believes in offering something for everyone. The F-150 offers numerous engine choices. Eleventh-generation F-150s started with a 202-hp 4.2-liter V6 as the base powerplant while receiving a pair of V8 upgrade options: a 248-hp 4.6-liter and a 300-hp 5.4-liter.

The 12th generation came with more powerful and efficient engine options, including a new base 248-hp 4.6-liter 2-valve V8, a 292-hp 4.6-liter 3-valve V8, and a 320-hp 5.4-liter 3-valve V8,  In 2011, Ford introduced a completely new engine lineup, starting with a 302-hp 3.7-liter V6. Meanwhile, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter “EcoBoost” V6 offered V8-like power (365 hp) with better fuel economy. V8 engine choices now included the 5.0-liter “Coyote,” making 360 hp, and a 6.2-liter, producing 411 hp.

For the 13th generation, an all-new base 283-hp 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 appeared. The 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 with 385-395 hp also debuted. Updated EcoBoost V6 options included a 325-hp 2.7-liter and a 3.5-liter with an increase to 375 hp. Along the way, the base engine became a 290-hp 3.3-liter V6, and a 250-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel joined the lineup. A high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, producing 450 hp, came with the F-150 Raptor.

Most 13th-generation powerplants were carried over to the current 14th-generation, except the turbodiesel, which was dropped. Meanwhile, a hybrid 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6 with 430 hp and 570 lb-ft was introduced.

Overall, the F-150 provides significantly more engine choices than the Titan, especially turbocharged and hybrid options focused on blending power with efficiency. That said, the Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 is a very capable performer, especially in the later years that received a horsepower boost. Both trucks provide ample power for most users’ needs.

It’s worth noting that the first-generation Titan has a five-speed automatic transmission, while the latest generation was upgraded to a seven-speed unit (and a nine-speed gearbox starting in 2020). The 11th-generation F-150 came out with a six-speed automatic, but 2017 saw the introduction of a new ten-speed transmission. More gears improve performance and fuel economy.

Towing and Hauling Capabilities

Towing and hauling specs are where full-size pickups stand out from other vehicles on the road. Here’s a breakdown of how the Titan and F-150 compare. Keep in mind that these are general maximum specifications, which can vary by year, powertrain, and other factors. Always confirm an individual truck’s towing and hauling capabilities by referring to the owner’s manual or contacting the manufacturer.

When properly equipped, the Titan offers a maximum towing capacity of around 9,300 pounds and a top payload rating of about 1,350 to 2,150 pounds. Towing and payload capacities of the F-150 have mostly increased over the four most recent generations:

F-150 Generation Max. Towing Capacity Max. Payload Rating 
11th 11,000 lbs 3,050 lbs
12th 11,300 lbs 3,210 lbs
13th 13,200 lbs 3,270 lbs
14th 14,000 lbs 3,325/2,445 lbs *

* Ford discontinued the optional Heavy Payload Package for the 2024 model year, reducing the F-150’s maximum payload rating to 2,445 pounds.

In terms of towing and hauling, a properly equipped F-150 eclipses the Titan in outright capacity. However, the Titan’s towing capacity is still sufficient for most recreational towing needs. Similarly, the Titan falls short of the F-150 in maximum payload, but few people need to haul one and a half tons.

Newer editions of both trucks offer towing assistance features like trailer sway control, integrated trailer brake controllers, and blind spot monitoring systems that cover the length of a trailer.

Fueling the Journey: Efficiency Insights

While power and capability are priorities for truck buyers, fuel efficiency is also important, given fluctuating fuel costs and the fact that the Titan and F-150 aren’t the most fuel-efficient vehicles.

The second-generation Titan’s solo gasoline V8 engine is EPA-rated to deliver 15-16 mpg in the city and 20-21 mpg hwy, depending on the trim and drivetrain. The first-generation Titan’s fuel economy drops from these numbers by 1-2 mpg.

Fuel economy estimates for the F-150 vary significantly based on generation, engine, drivetrain, cab configuration, cargo bed length, and other elements. Here are some F-150 fuel economy highlights:

  • 11th generation 5.4-liter V8: 14 mpg city, 18 mpg highway (rear-wheel drive)
  • 12th generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6: 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway (rear-wheel drive)
  • 13th generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6: 19-20 mpg city, 24-26 mpg highway (varies by configuration)
  • 13th generation 5.0-liter V8: 15-17 mpg city, 21-23 mpg highway (varies)
  • 14th generation 3.3-liter V6: 20 mpg city, 24-25 highway (varies)
  • 14th generation PowerBoost hybrid: 24 mpg city, 24 mpg highway (varies)

The F-150’s engine range, especially the EcoBoost turbos and PowerBoost hybrid, gives it a fuel efficiency edge over the Titan in most cases. However, the Titan’s V8 fuel economy is generally on par with V8-powered F-150 models and provides solid efficiency considering its size and capability. Truck buyers focused on maximizing fuel economy will likely prefer the F-150’s wider array of more fuel-efficient engines.

Inside the Cabin: Comfort and Technology

Like most pickups, the interiors of the Titan and F-150 have become increasingly car-like and filled with more premium equipment. Early models of the Titans focused on more basic accommodations, but the 2016 redesign helped bring the truck upscale. The top-tier Platinum Reserve trim features leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and wood trim, items once found only in luxury cars.

El infotainment system uses an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration. Available tech and convenience features include a 12-speaker Fender audio system, a surround-view camera system, and a configurable digital gauge cluster. However, the Titan doesn’t feel as modern or luxurious as the equivalent F-150, even in high-end form.

In contrast, the F-150, Ford’s most important vehicle, has become a showcase for premium equipment and technology. The upmarket King Ranch was introduced in the 11th generation, along with luxuries like heated leather seats and optional navigation. By the 13th generation, massaging seats and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen became available. Meanwhile, the 14th generation offers a 12-inch center touchscreen and a 12-inch digital gauge cluster on upper trims.

High-end Limited models have two-tone leather upholstery that would have been unthinkable in a truck just a few years ago. The F-150’s 14th-generation interior, especially on the Platinum, King Ranch, and Limited variants, has helped set the bar for modern pickup truck luxury and connectivity.

Both trucks provide spacious seating in their extended and crew cab configurations, including an available front bench seat for six-passenger seating. Cabin storage options are plentiful in either pickup, including sizable center consoles, door pockets, and clever storage solutions. The F-150 offers a few unique interior features, like an available Interior Work Surface with a fold-flat shift knob and a stowable table integrated into the center armrest. Ford’s patented Max Recline Seats fold almost entirely flat for resting inside the F-150.

No one will suffer spending time in the Nissan Titan’s cabin. It’s comfortable and functional and made more inviting with technology upgrades. However, the Ford F-150 offers an interior a step ahead in design, material quality, and premium touches. Yet, the new Nissan Titan’s lower pricing may make shoppers feel more comfortable.

Assessing Overall Value

Like many Nissan models, the Titan plays to its strength: value. A 2024 Titan starts at $46,000, MSRP, while an equivalent F-150 (with a crew cab and V8 engine) has a $50,000 price tag. The same applies when comparing used trucks, as Titans generally have lower resale values than their F-150 peers.

CarEdge says a new Ford F-150 loses 24% of its value after five years, compared to 28% for a Nissan Titan. The F-150’s better residual value comes from its class-leading towing and hauling capabilities, a wider range of engines, and more refined, tech-focused interiors. Ford also offers more cab styles, bed lengths, and trims. Further, introducing an all-aluminum body for the 13th-generation F-150 helped improve fuel economy without sacrificing capability.

Choosing between the two trucks primarily comes down to priorities and budget. The Titan is less advanced but comes at a lower price. Meanwhile, the F-150 offers more capability, configuration options, and cutting-edge technology for buyers willing to spend more.

Why Get an Extended Warranty for Your Truck?

Today’s trucks, like the Nissan Titan comparison with the Ford F-150, are complex vehicles that can face costly repairs as they age. Advanced engines and sophisticated four-wheel-drive systems are especially vulnerable when called to task for towing, hauling, or traveling off-road. An extended car warranty (also called an auto protection plan or contrato de servicio de vehiculo) protects pickup owners after the Garantía de Fábrica has expired. Peace of mind comes from knowing that breakdowns and surprise repair bills are covered.

Highlights of Planes de protección automática Endurance include:

  • 30 días de garantía de devolución de dinero
  • Comprehensive coverage for essential powertrain components like the engine, transmission, drive axle, and transfer case
  • Expanded programs that cover the brakes, air conditioning, steering, suspension, electrical system, advanced-tech electronics, and other vital components
  • Exclusionary plans that are similar to a factory bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Options for modified, high-mileage, and commercial-use vehicles
  • Choice of any ASE Certified mechanic or repair shop for covered repairs
  • Asistencia en carretera 24 horas al día, 7 días a la semana (with towing) and trip interruption protection included

All Endurance plan holders enjoy:

  • Choice of deductibles, including a $0 option
  • Dedicated customer service and claims representatives
  • Easy claims filing and tracking through the Aplicación para teléfono inteligente Endurance
  • Flexible payment terms
  • One year of FREE Elite Benefits* including access to tire repairs/replacements, key fob replacement, collision repair discounts, and total loss protection

Endurance: Peace of Mind for Truck Owners

Learning how an Endurance plan can protect your pickup or other vehicle is easy. Request a FREE quote o visita nuestro tienda en línea for instant plan and pricing information. Prefer one-on-one help? Call (800) 253-8203 to speak with an Endurance plan advisor.

Revisar la Blog Endurance for exclusive articles about car repairs, DIY tips, extended warranties, and more.

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